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1) accurately characterize the parties to the social conflict and its broader significance; 2) distinguish the conflicting interests involved; 3) analyze the conflicting sides in terms of our general theoretical texts; 4) defend your conclusions with careful argument and evidence.
Radical Analysis of a Current Event
This essay will focus on radical analysis of post-Fordism in manufacturing. This topic is closely connected with all sides of the social life of the country and different population stratums. I will provide description of the event; show the effect of the event on all concerned parties; describe both positive and negative influences and consequences for the manufacturing, companies and workers.
Post-Fordism as a Historical Evolution of Fordism in Manufacturing
Post-Fordism is a special kind of system social relations that represents an evolution of Fordism. It is reflected in such social spheres as consumption and manufacturing. Post-Fordism is a transformation of a system that was directed on mass production of similar or alike goods. The modern trend is characterized by production of fewer amounts of goods, which have considerable differences. These goods are oriented on various consumers, who have a variety of perceptions, needs and wishes.
Post-Fordism in manufacturing concerns all the population stratums because different people irrespective of age, race or occupation are consumers. Their attitudes are thoroughly examined. Managers of companies decide what innovations should be implemented into manufacturing process in order to increase demand and implement appropriate strategies. Manufacturing plans are developed on basis of these strategies for corresponding existing and future demand
Moreover, companies not only adjust to existing demand they create demand. Numerous advertising in means of mass media stipulate people to desire commodities, which are not essential. Young people can dispense with changing of mobile phone each year. Workers cannot spend thousands of dollars on automobiles, which reflect their individuality by driving high-performance Mercedes or small and compact Fiat. They can drive blended and ordinary Cadillac or Ford (Florida, 2011).
However, in this essay I would like to give special consideration of influence of post-Fordism on interrelation between workers and global manufacturing companies because particularly these stratums of the society were affected by evolution of Fordism in a greater degree. Particularly these parties are involved in manufacturing process: companies as employers and workers as employees. Below, I will describe a great conflict in manufacturing sphere, which arise from the nature of Post-Fordism.
Post-Fordism as the Greatest Issue for Current Manufacturing
Nowadays considerable changes take place in working process of manufacturing. Information, communication and knowledge became the central parts of the production process. New professions that imply collection of information about demand and perceptions of customers, analyzing this information and development grounded and effective strategies of the company became more valuable. These professions are analytics, market researches, psychologies, managers and etc. Michael Hardt in his work Affective Labour defines these professions as affective or immaterial because they do physically produce goods. In the same time, these professions have a considerable influence on production (Hardt, 1999). With increasing value of affective labor, the value of material labor considerably decreased. At the same time common producing of commodities looses its relevance in the labor chain.
Moreover, the quality of a production became less important to consumer. In majority of cases people prefer to pay for brand, but not for the quality. Tasnim Kazi stated,
The logic of the new priority is not to spend money on machines that will rust, factories that need constant upkeep, and employees that will age and die; resources should be used on sponsorships, packaging, expansion, and advertising as it is this that will help to build super brands (Kazi, 2011).
So, companies prefer to spend money on creating brands, but not on increasing effectiveness and efficiency of manufacturing process.
The Post-Fordism world provides such beneficial opportunities to companies as outsourcing, globalization and total worker flexibility (Sullivan, 2011). Companies transfer their productive capacities to countries, where workers have low wages, work and no any labor protection from their government or trade unions, such as Philippines.
Majority of employees in such countries are part-time workers. Companies received an ability to apply strategies of flexible production and management by transfer of manufacturing. They can timely correspond on changeable market conditions by increasing or decreasing production, by hiring or dismissing employees.
The cost of the labor in these countries is considerably lower than in developed ones. This is also connected to a big amount of produced goods. Karl Marx in his works characterized it as devaluation of labor: the worker becomes all the poorer the more wealth he produces, the more his production increases in power and size (Marx, 1867). Production from these countries creates a considerable competition to commodities produced in developed countries because in developed countries the price of labor considerably higher due to higher wages and social protection of workers. So, manufacturing in developed counties goes into bankruptcy. Richard Florida in his article San Francisco Just Lost Its Last Domestic Car Dealership stated that the amount of sold imported car s is four times bigger than the amount of sold cars manufactured in the USA (Florida, 2011).
At the same time employees intend to have permanent working place with high wages, guarantees and social protection. People want to be confident about their future. The whole atrocity of the situation is that common people cannot change it, because globalization puts pressure on the workers and the producers by weakening their bargaining power as a result of the increased competition (Kazi, 2011). Karl Marx considered labor power as a commodity (Marx, 1867). Nowadays the price of such manufacturing commodity becomes lower due to surfeit of proposition and there is no any define solution of this issue.
Post-Fordism represents an evolution of a Fordism society; a transformation from production a community oriented commodities to manufacturing of products, which can satisfy a great variety of demands and perceptions. It increases flexibility of companies and provides ability to stand against economic crisis. New forms of labor based on application of information, communication and knowledge became more relevant. At the same time, Post-Fordism leads to considerable decreasing of magnitude and payment for such commodity as material labor.